Dashing Through December (And Snow?) – And Other Goals For The Month

The holidays are fast approaching — meaning plenty of ugly sweaters, holiday parties, and Christmas cookies. But it also means a fair share of Jingle Bell Runs, Santa Scampers, and Frosty Frolics! And even though my monthly miles have diminished dramatically since my half-marathons; it doesn’t mean that I don’t have December Goals. 

It’s been WAY too long since I wrote a goals post. And I miss it. I also feel like my running has suffered by not  writing out my goals. For example, my monthly miles for November was 19.

19!?! (I know, which is why I’m sharing my December goals. I hope by sharing my goals with all of you I will hold myself more accountable to get out and running more.)

But that’s not to say that I was not active during November. I have been running a PiYo Challenge Group, along with walking and getting my daily steps in (most days).

I have talked about PiYo before, but I’m going to gush about it again. These workouts are amazing! They don’t completely exhaust me but they do feel like I am working out. And without any jumping or weights, it is easy on my joints (which is always a benefit for runners!).

PiYo is the fusion of Pilates and Yoga — working on strengthening and stretching the muscles. It’s an awesome adjunct to running and I hope to see some improvements in my running by continuing to practice.

And an awesome way to measure improvements?

You guessed it, GOALS! 

December Goals:

#1. Faster Pace

Since my half-marathons of the year are done (And PR’d if you didn’t read my half update!) my running goals are going to focus on speed. By following my half-marathon training plan, I was able to cover the distance, but my speed slightly diminished. Instead of running 9:30 minute miles, I have been routinely running 10:30 minute miles. And while this allowed me to cover the distance, I now wish to get back to my previous speed.

To return to faster miles, I plan on focusing on shorter distance runs. I also will incorporate more interval training to prepare my body for speedier runs and increase my endurance. I want to get back to running a 5k in less than 30 minutes comfortably. (I ran our local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in 29:48 – and believe me — it was far from “easy”). 

One obstacle that I face with this goal is a mental one. During half-marathon training, I was concerned about “reserving energy” in order to last the distance. Now, facing shorter distances, I need to drop that mindset and allow myself to go faster – because it is possible to do so. I have felt myself holding back but I need to learn to trust how I am feeling and my pace. 

#2: Outside Runs

Even as the weather is getting colder, getting outside is the best way to learn to trust my pace. Treadmill running is great for intervals — the treadmill pushes you to keep a certain pace. However, it is not there for you when you are running races, so I need to learn the pace to keep, even in the elements. 

Plus, even if every other part of my body is covered up, my face will most likely get some sunshine. And good old Vitamin D is beneficial, even if just for a few minutes. 

#3. Aid Another’s Goals

You guys, running is addictive. It truly is! Travis has been saying lately how he wants to run longer distances and even train for a 10k! How awesome is that?!? I am super excited to have another running buddy but helping him reach his goal would be amazing! And since we only have one treadmill, that means plenty of outdoor runs together.

Non-Running December Goals:

#1. Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Christmas cookies. Eggnog. Holiday Rolls… Family gatherings and food everywhere is inevitable this time of year – but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept the dreaded holiday weight gain. By making smart choices and limiting sweets, I can avoid any extra pounds that may try to sneak on during the holidays. I plan to eat mindfully and know that it’s OK to say “no” to extra helpings, dessert, or that glass of bubbly. 

#2. Read More

One thing that I promised I would do once I graduated from college and the one thing that I haven’t been doing since starting to work full time… READ. 

As a kid, I would get lost in the pages of a book and be transported back in time, to a far away land, or even an entirely different world. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I lost that. And I want to get it back. (Any suggestions of good reads are greatly appreciated!) 

#3. Give More

Giving more of myself and my time is another December goal. In the hustle and bustle of the season, I want to be more present with the people that I encounter everyday. That might mean just sharing a friendly smile with someone while out shopping. Or it could mean taking the extra time to listen to a patient’s story as I check them in, regardless of the relevance. And it definitely means putting away the electronics (TV, computer, smart phone) to spend some quality time with my loved ones. 

After all, it is the best time of the year — so why not try to be the best I can be! By hopefully meeting some (if not all) of these goals, I hope to become even better going into 2018!

  1. How do you plan to spend the holidays?
  2. What is your all-time favorite book?
  3. Are you running any fun runs this month?